The San Antonio Spurs spoiled Chris Paul’s return with a balanced attack and great defense, beating the Clippers 105-97. Spurs fans concerned about the heavy load that Kawhi Leonard has carried appreciate the fact that Leonard could contribute just 21 points in a win over another elite team. (He’s been getting 30-plus regularly.) But those same fans saw LaMarcus Aldridge shoot 5-of-15 from the field. The positive is that the Spurs win anyway. The even better news is Pau Gasol is back — and he shot 71%, scoring 17. Gasol went 3-of-3 from 3-point territory. Gasol and Aldridge each grabbed 11 rebounds, too.
What’s happened to Aldridge’s deadly jumper, one of the most potent weapons in the NBA? With the exception of a high-percentage outing against woeful Orlando just before the break, Aldridge can’t find his touch. But the Spurs depth gives Aldridge plenty of time and the big man is hard at work, saying he “holds himself to a very high standard.” When one of the top 3 players on a team is mired in a shooting slump, that team isn’t usually winning. That’s what makes the Spurs so dangerous. They roll on.